WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February after authorities discovered hashish oil in her vape cartridges. She recently pleaded guilty to drug charges, which carries a punishment of up to ten years in prison.
There has been criticism over the Biden administration’s lack of effort to help bring Griner home, however according to LeBron James, the question is whether Griner should even want to return to America.
“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” James said in a trailer for HBO’s The Shop Interrupted. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even want to go back to America?'”
The full episode airs on July 15.
Following the release of the trailer, James took to Twitter to explain his take on the situation.
“My comments on “The Shop” regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country,” he wrote. “I was simply saying how she’s probably feeling emotionally along with so many other emotions, thoughts, etc inside that cage she’s been in for over 100+ days!”
“Long story short,” he concluded, “#BringHerHome.”
Prior to Griner’s guilty plea, Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard suggested that if it were LeBron James detained in Russia, the US government would have done more to negotiate his safe passage back to America.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said, suggesting the lack of assistance from the Biden administration for Griner is “a statement about the value of women.”
“It’s a statement about the value of a black person,” Nygaard added. “It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”
With US-Russian relations at a low point, it is unclear what more the government can do as Griner awaits sentencing.
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